How I Like to Write JavaScript

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I love writing JavaScript. It feels lightweight, free-form, and flexible--all qualities that boost creativity and invite me to practice new and interesting techniques. Over time, I've developed lots of patterns and principles that help me day to day. In this talk, I'll show you a handful of them and then we'll look at how I apply them inside the AlpineJS codebase itself. It's gonna be a good time!

Caleb Porzio
Caleb Porzio
26 min
05 Jun, 2023

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Video Summary and Transcription

Caleb Porzio introduces Alpine JS, a JavaScript framework, and demonstrates the process of creating a scrappy version of AlpineJS and refactoring it. The Talk covers topics such as creating a Dom Walker, evaluating expressions, using mutation observers, and refactoring the code. It also discusses techniques like inverting conditionals, using callbacks, and parameter currying. The Talk emphasizes the importance of abstraction, handler extraction, and a declarative approach in software development.

Available in Español

1. Introduction to Alpine JS

Short description:

Hey, my name is Caleb Porzio. I made a JavaScript framework called Alpine JS. We're going to create a scrappy version of AlpineJS, make a mess, then refactor it using techniques from Alpine.

Hey, my name is Caleb Porzio. I made a JavaScript framework called Alpine JS. And when I first started AlpineJS, I was by no means a killer JavaScript developer, but it's been a few years. I've rewritten the code base a few times, and now I have a bunch of opinions that I think help me make more maintainable code bases that I actually want to work in.

So we're going to create this tiny scrappy version of AlpineJS today, and we're going to basically make a mess doing it, then we'll walk it back and refactor it using some of the techniques that I've used inside Alpine. So let's do it.

2. Creating the Dom Walker and Handling Flame Click

Short description:

Here is a button on a page with a script tag with nothing in it. We're going to create a little playground. Instead of using Alpine's exon click, we'll use flame click and write JavaScript inside it. Let's create a Dom Walker script to look for flame click attributes and initialize them. We'll check if an element has the flame click attribute and get its contents.

Here is a button on a page with a script tag with nothing in it. This is going to be our little playground. And the framework we're going to write is, I don't know if you've seen Alpine, but with Alpine, you can add things like click listeners directly to buttons by adding attributes directly in the HTML, like exon click. Well, instead of that, we're going to do flame click, and then we can write any JavaScript in here. So let's write something like so hot.

Okay. And now if we load this in the browser, nothing is going to happen. We have this button with click alert. So hot, we click it and nothing happens because we haven't written any JavaScript for it. So let's do that. So the first thing I would do is create a little Dom Walker, a little script that'll walk through every element on the page and give us an opportunity to look for things like flame click and actually initialize them. So let's write a Dom Walker. And with the magic of snippets, you don't have to sit here and watch me write a little Tom Walker. So here's the Walker script. And this is the point where we have this little variable called L. Which every iteration in this while loop is just going to walk the next node. So let's just console log out L and refresh the page and make sure that it works. If we look at the console, here it is. We have button, click me. Now we have three buttons on the page. Let's refresh, make those three. And it's going to, it's going to walk through all those three. If we had a button nested inside of a div, it would walk that div as well. And then the button inside of it. Okay, great. So we have our little Dom Walker. Now in this part, we can do stuff with every element. And in our case, we want to check for the existence of this flame click attributes, we'll say if L dot has attribute flame, click, then let expression equal L dot get attribute flame click. So this is going to get the contents of that attribute. Okay.

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